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Adds: AFGHANISTAN-GULF-HOSTING-FUGITIVES; UNRULY PASSENGERS; ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CRISIS; REDISTRICTING-LEGAL BATTLE; BOY SCOUTS-BANKRUPTCY; ONLYFANS-SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT-MATERIAL-BAN, SYRIA-ISRAEL; CALIFORNIA FAMILY-MYSTERIOUS DEATHS; CALIFORNIA-RECALL-EXPLAINER; VIRUS OUTBREAK-SENATE
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US-AP-POLL-AFGHANISTAN — A significant majority of Americans doubt that the war in Afghanistan was worthwhile, even as they are more divided over President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and national security. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. By Josh Boak, Hannah Fingerhut and Ben Fox. SENT: 715 words, photos.
AP-INVESTIGATION-TRACKED — Michael Williams a 65-year-old grandfather from Chicago, sat behind bars for nearly a year accused of murder. But the key evidence against Williams didn’t come from an eyewitness or an informant; instead prosecutors focused on a loud bang picked up by a network of surveillance microphones. Prosecutors said technology powered by a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed a man. Last month, a judge dismissed the case against him at the request of prosecutors, who said they had insufficient evidence. By Garance Burke, Martha Mendoza, Juliet Linderman and Michael Tarm. SENT: 3,880 words, photos, video. An abridged version is also available. AP-INVESTIGATION-TRACKED-TAKEAWAYS — 4 Takeaways: AP investigates gunshot detection technology (sent).
JAPAN-NISSAN-KELLY — Nearly three years later, former Nissan executive Greg Kelly is still wondering why the questions that led to his arrest and trial in Japan weren’t simply taken up in the automaker’s corporate boardroom. By Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 1,240 words, photos, video.
AFGHANISTAN-SAVING KHALID — The U.S. military and its allies have rescued a high-profile Afghan national police officer who was being hunted by the Taliban because of his years working with the American military. By Alex Sanz and Tammy Webber. SENT: 900 words, photos.
AFGHANISTAN — The Taliban violently dispersed scattered protests for a second day amid warnings that Afghanistan’s already weakened economy could crumble further without the massive international aid that sustained the toppled Western-backed government. By Ahmad Seir, Tameem Akhgar, Kathy Gannon and Joseph Krauss. SENT: 1,190 words, photos. With: AFGHANISTAN-THE-LATEST.
AFGHANISTAN-DOHA TRAP — President Biden and his national security team say former President Donald Trump’s February 2020 deal with the Taliban set the stage for the chaos that unfolded in Kabul. The claim has some merit, but it’s far from the full story. By Matthew Lee and Eric Tucker. SENT: 990 words, photos.
SUSPICIOUS TRUCK — A North Carolina man who claimed to have a bomb in a pickup truck near the U.S. Capitol surrenders to law enforcement after an hourslong standoff that prompted a massive police response and the evacuations of government buildings. By Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo. SENT: 840 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK — Just as school doors are reopening across the U.S., children are filling hospital beds instead of classrooms in record numbers, sick with COVID-19. The surging virus is spreading anxiety and causing turmoil and infighting among parents, administrators and politicians around the U.S. By Lindsey Tanner. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-GULF-COAST — The U.S. Gulf Coast is glowing like a bad sunburn on maps that show COVID-19 trouble spots in red. Alabama’s coastal counties lead the state in new cases, and some events have been canceled in Florida and Louisiana because of the latest surge. Health officials believe the spike is due to a combination of some of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates, unabated tourism, a disregard for basic health precautions and the region’s carefree lifestyle. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 940 word, photos, video.
2020 CENSUS-COLORADO WATER — The northern Colorado city of Greeley is in one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States. But that growth may not be sustainable as the city encounters a problem common in the drought-ravaged West: There may not be enough water to meet future needs. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 1,350 words, photos.
TWO CATASTROPHES-ANALYSIS — Twin tragedies on opposite sides of the world are piling misery on people who have seen far more than their share. They’re unfolding in two nations that sit at the fault lines of everything the 21st-century world struggles to control. By Niko Price. SENT: 830 words, photos.
MORE ON AFGHANISTAN
AFGHANISTAN-GULF-HOSTING-FUGITIVES — Afghanistan’s president, driven out by the Taliban, is the latest leader on the run to turn up in the United Arab Emirates. Others who found refuge here include Spain’s disgraced former king and two Thai prime ministers. In nearby Qatar, meanwhile, the Taliban’s political leaders have been given refuge for years. SENT: 900 words, photos.
AFGHANISTAN-ALLIED RIFT — When U.S. President Joe Biden took office early this year, Western allies were falling over themselves to welcome and praise him, and hail a new era in trans-Atlantic cooperation. The collapse of Afghanistan certainly put a stop to that. Even some of his biggest fans are now churning out criticism. SENT: 850 words, photos.
UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN — President Biden says that even with the Taliban in power in Afghanistan, he sees a greater threat from al-Qaida and its affiliated organizations from other countries. Biden is arguing that it was no longer “rational” to continue to focus U.S. military power there. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN-EVACUATIONS — The United States struggles to pick up the pace of American and Afghan evacuations at Kabul airport, constrained by obstacles ranging from armed Taliban checkpoints to paperwork problems. With an Aug. 31 deadline looming, tens of thousands remained to be airlifted from the chaotic country. SENT: 990 words, photos, video. (Incorporates UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN-AIRPORT CHAOS from previous digest.)
RUSSIA-BEFRIENDING THE TALIBAN — When the Taliban swept over Afghanistan, Russia was ready for the rapid developments after working methodically for years to lay the groundwork for relations with the group that it still officially considers a terrorist organization. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.
EUROPE-AFGHANISTAN — The European Union’s foreign policy chief called the fall of Afghanistan’s capital and the resurgence of the Taliban “a catastrophe” and “nightmare” that laid bare a failure of intelligence and trans-Atlantic cooperation. SENT: 380 words, photo.
ONLYFANS-SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT-MATERIAL-BAN — OnlyFans website to ban ‘sexually explicit’ content. SENT: 180 words.
HERMIT-EVICTED — An off-the-grid New Hampshire hermit known as “River Dave” is no longer homeless. SENT: 170 words, photos.
ITALY-MAFIA-ARREST — Italian police say one of the country’s most wanted men, an alleged top drug trafficker suspected of having bought two stolen Van Gogh paintings on the black market, has been arrested in Dubai. SENT: 300 words, photos.
UNRULY PASSENGERS — In unfriendly skies, unruly passenger fines top $1 million. SENT: 460 words, photo.
OPIOD-CRISIS-PURDUE BANKRUPTCY — The family that owns Purdue Pharma had hoped a reformulated version of Oxycontin would help rein in the burgeoning opioid crisis a decade ago, a member of the Sackler family said in court testimony that once again stopped short of an apology or acceptance of responsibility for the epidemic. SENT: 930 words, photos.
R-KELLY — A key accuser at the R. Kelly sex-trafficking trial has resumed testimony, weeping when a prosecutor asked her to read out loud from a journal entry describing how he allegedly beat and choked her the last time they were together in 2010. SENT: 670 words, photos.
JAPAN-MARTIAN MOON — Japanese space agency scientists say they plan to bring soil samples back from the Mars region ahead of the United States and China in hopes of finding clues to the planet’s origin and traces of possible life. SENT: 420 words.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VIRAL QUESTIONS-VACCINE DISTRIBUTION — Several groups are working to get COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries, but the efforts are falling short of what’s needed to curb outbreaks globally. SENT: 390 words.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-AFRICA VACCINES — The Africa director for the World Health Organization says rich countries’ decisions to roll out COVID-19 booster shots while so many people across Africa remain unvaccinated “threaten the promise of a brighter tomorrow” for the continent. SENT: 435 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA — A Florida judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the order by Gov. Ron DeSantis that parents should decide whether their children wear masks at school to combat the coronavirus. SENT: 810 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA-TOURISM — The number of U.S. tourists who came to Florida in the second quarter of this year has returned to pre-pandemic levels, though the international market is still lagging. SENT: 200 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-SINGAPORE — Singapore will launch its first quarantine-free travel program for vaccinated people arriving from Germany and Brunei, and ease restrictions for visitors from Hong Kong and Macao as it seeks to reopen its borders after fully vaccinating over 75% of its population. SENT: 315 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SENATE — Sens. Angus King of Maine, Roger Wicker of Mississippi and John Hickenlooper of Colorado say they have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated. SENT: 300 words, photo.
US-STUDENT-LOAN FORGIVENESS — The Biden administration says it will automatically erase student loan debt for more than 300,000 Americans with disabilities that leave them unable to earn significant incomes. SENT: 605 words, photos.
US-BIDEN-COAL-MORATORIUM — U.S. officials have launched a review of climate damage from coal mining on public lands as the Biden administration expands scrutiny of government fossil fuel sales that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. SENT: 665 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FEDERAL-COURTS — A surge of COVID-19 cases is prompting federal courts to impose new restrictions and requirements for mask-wearing and vaccinations. In many cases that move is setting up a dynamic where lawyers and plaintiffs who oppose mask mandates and other restrictions must mask up and follow some restrictions to make their arguments. SENT: 1,070 words.
FEDERAL PRISONS-INMATE ACCOUNTS — The Justice Department directs the federal prison system to implement new procedures to monitor government-run prison deposit accounts that have at times been used by inmates to shield themselves from paying debts and for suspicious or illegal activity. SENT: 520 words, photos.
REDISTRICTING-LEGAL BATTLE — The fight over redrawing political maps is just ramping up in state legislatures and nonpartisan commissions around the country. But both Republicans and Democrats already are planning for major showdowns in the courts. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.
HAITI-QUAKE — Relief for the victims of a powerful earthquake and tropical storm began flowing more quickly into Haiti, but the Caribbean nation’s entrenched poverty, insecurity and lack of basic infrastructure were still presenting huge challenges to getting food and urgent medical care to all those who need it. SENT: 780 words, photos, video.
ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY-CRISIS — The United Nations secretary-general says humanitarian conditions in Ethiopia are “hellish” as the nine-month Tigray conflict spreads in Africa’s second most populous country. Antonio Guterres told reporters that the spread of the fighting “has ensnared even more people in its horror.” SENT: 440 words, photos.
LT-BRAZIL-OCEAN-ADVANCE — Over the past half century, the Atlantic Ocean has been slowly and relentlessly consuming Atafona, part of the Sao Joao da Barra municipality that is 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Rio de Janeiro’s capital and home to 36,000 people. SENT: 500 words, photos.
GREECE-WILDFIRES — A major wildfire that has ravaged a pine forest for four days, burnt homes and led to the evacuation of villages northwest of Athens is on the wane, but not yet under control. SENT: 620 words, photos.
FRANCE-WILDFIRES — A wildfire that has forced thousands to flee and ravaged woodlands near the French Riviera is raging for a fourth day despite calmer winds and cooler weather. SENT: 585 words, photos.
PAKISTAN-EXPLOSION — A powerful explosion hit a procession of Shiite Muslims in central Pakistan, wounding at least 30 people, witnesses and a Shiite leader said. There were unconfirmed reports of deaths among the victims. SENT: 270 words, photos.
TROPICAL-WEATHER-MEXICO — Hurricane Grace struck Mexico’s Caribbean coast just south of the ancient Mayan temples of Tulum, tearing the roofs off some homes, knocking out power to thousands and keeping tourists off white sand beaches as it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula. SENT: 560 words, photos.
SYRIA-ISRAEL — Loud explosions shook the Syrian capital as state media reported Israeli airstrikes around Damascus. The state-news agency SANA said Syrian air defenses confronted the Israeli planes, while the pro-Syrian government Cham FM Radio reported airstrikes in the Damascus countryside and in the central province of Homs. SENT: 190 words.
WESTERN WILDFIRES — Dry and windy weather dogged firefighters’ efforts to contain destructive fires that are devouring the bone-dry forests of drought-stricken Northern California An estimated 11,000 firefighters were on the lines of more than a dozen large wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings, forced thousands of people to flee communities and filled skies with smoke. SENT: 470 words, photos.
TROPICAL-WEATHER-ATLANTIC — Authorities combing areas of North Carolina flooded by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred said that two people have been found dead and about 20 were unaccounted for. Meanwhile, Fred — now a post-tropical cyclone — was pushing through New York and New England with drenching rains, and Tropical Storm Henri was sending dangerous waves onto East Coast beaches. SENT: 590 words, photo.
BOY SCOUTS-BANKRUPTCY — A Delaware judge ruled that the Boy Scouts of America can enter into a pivotal $850 million agreement that the organization hopes to use as a springboard to emerging from bankruptcy later this year, but rejected two key provisions of the deal. SENT: 700 words, photos.
ABORTION-RESTRICTION-TEXAS — A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a Texas law outlawing a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure. A federal judge had blocked the ban on the procedure known as dilation and extraction. SENT: 550 words, photos.
SCHOOL-SHOOTING-SOUTH CAROLINA — A South Carolina high school will remain closed the rest of this week after three students leaving school for the day were hurt in a drive-by shooting just off campus. SENT: 520 words, photos.
CALIFORNIA FAMILY-MYSTERIOUS DEATHS — The remote forest area where the bodies of a California couple, their baby and the family dog were found was being treated as a hazmat site as authorities look for any clues on what caused the mysterious deaths. SENT: 300 words.
CALIFORNIA-RECALL-EXPLAINER — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election Sept. 14 that could remove him from office. Forty-six candidates qualified for the ballot to replace him, but at least one dropped out. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.
EVICTION MORATORIUM-LANDLORDS — Landlords are fuming over the decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a new eviction moratorium lasting until Oct. 3. Smaller landlords say they have suffered financially due to various state, local and federal moratoriums in place since last year. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for a fourth straight time to a pandemic low, the latest sign that America’s job market is rebounding from the pandemic recession as employers boost hiring to meet a surge in consumer demand. SENT: 710 words.
FACEBOOK-ANTITRUST — Federal regulators sharpened their antitrust attack against Facebook, alleging in a revised complaint that the social network giant pursued a laser-focused strategy to “buy or bury” innovative rivals to suppress competition. SENT: 540 words, photo.
MUSIC-ROLLING-STONES — The Rolling Stones are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their album “Tattoo You” with a remastered collection that includes nine previously unreleased tracks. SENT: 250 words, photos.
FILM-CANDYMAN — “Candyman” was always more than a surface level horror film. The 1992 film dealt with class, race and trauma. But almost 30 years later, a new version, in theaters Aug. 27, reclaims and recenters the narrative around the Black experience. SENT: 975 words, photos.
OLY-SIMONE’S MESSAGE — American gymnast Simone Biles says she wouldn’t change anything about her second Olympic experience. Biles says she is making the importance of proper mental health a focal point of her post-Olympic exhibition tour. The tour will include several of her Olympic teammates and it starts in Arizona in late September. SENT: 845 words, photos.
BKC-SETON HALL-POWELL — A former women’s basketball player at Seton Hall has been added to a lawsuit filed against the school by former men’s player Myles Powell. Both Powell and Jasmine Smith claim their knee injuries were misdiagnosed. SENT: 370 words.
BBN-DODGERS-BAUER — A Los Angeles judge sided with Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer and denied a restraining order to a woman who said he choked her into unconsciousness and punched her repeatedly during two sexual encounters. SENT: 380 words, photos.
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